MOSS On Premise vs. SaaS Feature MatrixCMSWire: Is there integration with MS Office 2007 like there is with an on-premise solution?Tom Rizzo: Yes. For the standard offering of SharePoint Online, Microsoft will initially offer a subset of the features found in SharePoint Server (see chart above). Over time, the standard offering will reach feature parity with the server features through service updates. The dedicated offering aligns more closely with the features and functionality found in the server software.The integration with Office is rich.For example, you can open and save to the service using the Office applications.You can synchronize your calendar, tasks, discussions or documents offline with Outlook or Groove.You can even customize your sites with SharePoint Designer. CMSWire: We've heard there are no customization capabilities now. Is all functionality purely out of the box? When do you expect to provide customization capability?Tom Rizzo: For SharePoint Online, Microsoft will be able to support customization that does not require code definitions. Using the SharePoint terminology, SharePoint Online will be able to support “site templates” but not “site definitions”. The main difference is that “site definitions” has specific code that the standard service cannot support today due to multi-tenancy issues. In the dedicated offering, Microsoft will be able to support a broader set of customizations but is evaluated based on a case by case basis. While the new beta of SharePoint Online cannot run custom code today, partner options will only increase with time. Microsoft is investing heavily in this area. CMSWire: You trialed this solution with a limited group. What was the top benefit/advantage they found using the solution? What was one recommendation for improvement and did you implement it?Tom Rizzo: We are still trialing the Microsoft Online Services offering with a limited group of businesses of all sizes. We will have more to share about this trial when the products become generally available in the second half of this year. Current customers including Autodesk Inc., Blockbuster Inc., Ceridian, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Energizer Holdings Inc., Ingersoll-Rand Company Ltd., PFT-Medway and XL Capital group of companies are all using Microsoft Online Services and frequently share with us their experiences with the products. CMSWire:Can you compare this solution to Office Live Workspace?Tom Rizzo:* Microsoft Online Services: Hosted service offerings for businesses with more advanced IT needs where power and flexibility is critical and the ability to control access to data, manage users, apply business and compliance policy, and meet high availability standards may all be important considerations. Microsoft Online Services are designed to provide the performance, scalability, security, management features, and service level capabilities to support the mission-critical applications and systems used by businesses that have more rigorous technical requirements. Today these services include Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Office Communications Online, Office Live Meeting and Exchange Hosted Services. * Microsoft Office Live Workspace: Microsoft Office “Live” is tailored to users that value ease-of-use, simple access and flexibility.Live services will be optimal in situations where users don’t have access to professional technical expertise and don’t require high levels of system management. Broadly speaking, Microsoft Live offerings are user-managed services, without IT mediation, spanning entertainment, communication, productivity and more.Existing Live Service offerings include, Windows Live, XBOX Live, Dynamics Live CRM, Office Live Small Business and Office Live Workspace.CMSWire: Why per-user subscription based pricing? Many of the SaaS vendors I've seen have a monthly pricing scheme per set of users and space/newsletters used.Tom Rizzo: Microsoft Online Services will be offered on a per-seat per-month subscription-basis. The customer is required to prepay the first year of the subscription and can purchase additional seats at any time. One key benefit of Microsoft Online Services is the ‘evergreen’ nature of the service. Customers pay an on-going subscription, but are kept up-to-date with the latest features and functionality. CMSWire: Does this on-demand solution enable both intranet and internet sites in a single implementation (service). Is the pricing different if a company wants both?Tom Rizzo: We are not public with pricing for Microsoft Online Services dedicated or standard offering today. If customers are interested in purchasing the dedicated offering they should contact their Microsoft account manager. Microsoft will make Microsoft Online Services pricing information available closer to the availability of the standard offering in the second half of 2008.